The following report is based on a press release issued Feb. 14 from the Governor's Office:
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman today announced a relief package prepared by the Connecticut Department of Transportation for all municipalities across the state facing road salt shortages after tackling 12 snow and ice storms this winter season.
Governor Malloy last night officially requested an emergency disaster declaration from President Barack Obama to address a potential municipal salt shortage. If granted, the declaration may aid in the much needed procurement of salt for the state’s municipalities and tribal nations.
“These consecutive, long-duration events have challenged the resources of towns throughout Connecticut, in terms of stretched budgets and inventory of salt to treat road systems,” Malloy said. “Those challenges have been compounded further by regional and national shortages of salt due to unprecedented demand by both public and private sector entities responding to this year’s storm season. I am hopeful that President Obama will act quickly on my request.”
Wyman stated, “With many weeks still left of the winter season and salt in short supply, this declaration may help the state’s municipalities weather the inevitable storms ahead.”
Last night, the Governor also requested that the DOT develop a plan to provide immediate assistance with stop-gap supplies of salt to towns across the state. The Emergency Operations Center reached out to all the municipalities last night to collect information on salt shortages.
Based on the response to that inventory, beginning at noon today, any municipality that does not utilize the state contract can contact the DOT, which will coordinate the provision of salt to that town to meet their emergency needs. As of noon Friday, 121 municipalities responded to the survey with 22 requests for assistance. The number jumped to 26 by 1 p.m.
Those 26 requests that have come in so far are from the following municipalities:
“The majority, 88 out of 167 municipalities, have options to utilize the state salt contract with International Salt,” said DOT Commissioner James P. Redeker. “The DOT, working directly with International Salt, will defer all of its contractual deliveries of salt to the state until all of the 88 municipalities using the state contract receive their necessary quantities of salt.”
Those deliveries were suspended yesterday due to the heavy snow in the Port of New Haven and on the roadway network, and will take place beginning at noon today.
For those municipalities that chose not to utilize the state contract and now have salt shortages, the DOT has developed an immediate, stop-gap plan to provide critical salt supplies. After assessing the current inventory of salt at DOT facilities and ensuring that there is sufficient salt to address the anticipated demand for salt on state highways, the DOT is offering the municipalities not using the state contract access to its remaining, though limited, salt inventories.
“I applaud the immediate and comprehensive response by the DOT in meeting the needs of our municipal partners across the state," Malloy said. "Their commitment to safety across the state and municipal network is one more demonstration of the agency’s commitment to the citizens of Connecticut.”
The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM) also praised the relief package. CCM "commended Governor Malloy for his timely response and direct assistance to towns and cities across the state to ensure an adequate supply of road salt is available to local governments to continue their efforts so roadways are plowed and salted and provide for the safest possible driving by Connecticut residents and businesses."
"As a former Mayor," CCM added, "the Governor is most sensitive to the importance of this critical local government responsibility."